Jacksonville, FL (October 18, 2017) Duval County residents in Nocatee learned of a new Memorandum of Agreement (“MOA”) signed between Duval and St. Johns counties that will provide quicker police response times for priority-one type calls. District 11 Council Member Danny Becton and Zone 3 Chief Jennifer Short announced the news describing how residents’ concerns for increase police protection and responses are a top priority.
The announcement served as the major news coming out of a two-hour meeting attended by around 50 residents who heard from representatives of the city departments including the sheriff, fire, public works, parks and neighborhoods.
At the previously held community meeting back in February, Nocatee residents expressed concerns to Council Member Becton that response times needed to be improved for the southernmost part of the county. As a result, CM Becton and then Zone 3 Chief Mat Nemeth worked to begin the process of finding a solution to this issue. It was negotiations similar to Duval’s current arrangement for fire protection with St. Johns County that provided the foundation for the solution. The MOA creates an intercounty agreement when responding to Priority-One calls that if JSO is not readily available, St. John County Sheriff’s department will respond. Because all of Nocatee has the St. Johns County zip code of 32081, past Nocatee 911 calls were re-routed to St. Johns County, which in turn were returned to Duval County dispatchers. This is no longer the case and has been corrected.
Priority-One calls are serious crimes like burglaries in progress and cases of violence. It is important that residents upon calling 911, declare their emergencies and provide as much details as possible when calling.
Lieutenant James Judge explained the new system saying, 911 dispatchers will now determine if Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office personnel or those from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office are best positioned to offer the quickest response time. If a St. Johns County officer is first to respond, that officer will handle the case until a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer arrives.
Lt. Judge also reported that Nocatee has one of the lowest crime rates in the city. Violent crimes are rare. What crime that does exist is mostly property crimes like car break-ins, etc. In addressing the Nocatee area, his expectations are for his officers to cruise though the area at least once every 2 hours during daylight hours and once an hour in the evening. He is also encouraging officers to park their cars and walk through areas of business and in communities to speak with residents about problems they are seeing in their area. He is looking for a Stop Station, a small office where police officers can come in Nocatee to fill out reports, to give additional police presence to the area.
Lt. Judge encouraged residents to call JSO when they see something suspicious in their neighborhoods like school-aged children wandering the streets when they should be in school or unfamiliar cars driving frequently on their street. These calls can make police aware of the possibility of petty crimes committed by youths or daytime home robberies.
Council Member Becton began the meeting with a PowerPoint presentation (see attachment) highlighting Capital Improvement and road projects slated for the district. He also spoke of the growth and development in the district and concentrated on the many road improvement projects that are in the works. Look for construction at the JTB/Gate Parkway Interchange, widening of the Deerwood Parkway Bridge, Baymeadows Road improvements and traffic lights at the entrances to Sweetwater Parkway and Yellow Fin Drive.
In the past year District 11 has received grant money to renovate two multi-use fields at the 9A Regional Park, the opening of the tennis facilities at the 9A Park and the relocation of the Police Substation to the Prominence Office Park on Baymeadows Road.
Other news to come from the town hall included:
- The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department has conducted tests of several Duval County Nocatee addresses to be sure that they know to respond to those calls. Fire Chief Kurt Wilson said this area is especially well served because of its intercounty agreement with St. Johns County. Fire and rescue crews from both counties respond to every call from this part of Nocatee.
- Stephanie Burch, director of the Neighborhoods Department, encouraged residents to get involved in the Southeast CPAC organization to learn about goings on in District 11. These meetings are held on the fourth Monday of the month at the NEFAR Headquarters, 7801 Deercreek Club Road.
- Those who experience missed Friday garbage or recycling service should call 630-CITY between 5 and 7 p.m. on Friday to have that refuse collected before noon the next day. Calls made before noon on Saturday will result in it being collected by the end of the day Saturday.
- Debris from Hurricane Irma was at the time of the meeting in its 23rd day and the first pass of the county’s 4,000 miles of roads will continue through Nov. 9. As of Oct. 18, nearly 1 million cubic yards of downed limbs and other damage had been collected.
- Residents were reminded that bulk garbage such as old furniture is to be placed on the curb on recycling day. Residents need to call 630-CITY to arrange for the collection of refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers or other electrical appliances.